Articles tagged “essential listening”

Remembering John Prine: Eight Covers Of “Angel from Montgomery” You Need To Hear

John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” may be a country-folk standard today, but back in 1969, it started as just another “song about old people.” After the songwriter — then a mailman in Maywood, Illinois — wrote the spellbinding “Hello in There” about the loneliness of senior citizens, his songwriter friend Ed Holstein asked to collaborate […]

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Remembering Hal Willner: Six Of His Quintessentially Strange Tribute Albums To Hear

Hal Willner’s tribute albums were like an antimatter We Are the World. No matter how dissimilar his collaborators (Bono, John Zorn, Chuck D) or how eccentric a subject he was commemorating (Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Kurt Weill), he was able to take seemingly random points on our shared cultural map and constellate them at will. […]

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Remembering Bill Withers: Eight Wildly Different Covers You Need To Hear

Bill Withers left behind a handful of mellow-soul hits — “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” — that fit any mood like a turtleneck and wore into the creases of oldies radio stations. Yet who knew they’d be so versatile as to be coverable by (respectively) a heavy metal band, a Christian rap […]

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Return To The Journey: A Guide To Thundercat

As a genre-blurring bassist, Stephen Lee Bruner a.k.a. Thundercat is bored to tears by virtuosity for the sake of it. “[For me], it’s about writing songs instead of attacking a moment and trying to say everything at once,” he told Bass Player in 2020, citing his influences as Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, and the Bee […]

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Remembering Ellis Marsalis: 7 Essential Records By The New Orleans Jazz Patriarch

Despite Ellis Marsalis, Jr. being the paterfamilias of jazz’s most elite dynasty, he never ruled his house with an iron fist. “My father never put pressure on me,” Wynton Marsalis, one of four jazz-practitioning sons along with Branford, told The New York Times Magazine in 2004. “The house could fall down and everyone would be […]

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